Pimp My 'Cast

Chances are, if you collect retro consoles you’re likely to own at least one beige-coloured piece of hardware. And the chances are that, if you’re reading this site, you own a beige Sega console. And that beige console is more than likely a Dreamcast. How do I know this? Magic, naturally, with a slight hint of mystical intuition. One of the more common problems I’ve noticed with the hallowed Dreamcast (yes, aside from the controller port fuse blowing) is that unless you keep it in the box and only ever get it out for special occasions (you know, like Christmas or a family funeral), it will eventually start to ‘yellow.’ Yellowing is what happens to lightly coloured plastic over time, where the chemicals that make up the dye in the plastic react with UV light and begin to break down, thus giving the material a tired and well...yellow appearance. And frankly, it looks shit. Add that to all the knocks and scuffs that build up over time (over a decade now, actually), and your Dreamcast can end up looking pretty sorry.

There are several remedies to this. First, you could attempt to ‘bleach’ your system’s shell as this Youtuber demonstrates...but that malarkey looks pretty dangerous to me - and besides, caustic chemicals do not mix well with hands that constantly drop cups of tea onto new carpets. Cough.

Secondly, you could spend a small fortune on one of those replacement cases that regularly pop up on eBay for fairly reasonable prices...but are located in Venezuela and so cost £30 to ship to the UK (granted, it may be cheaper to ship if you live closer to Venezuela but damn that’s expensive shipping). The Dreamcast shell is fairly easy to take apart and remove from the internal workings, so if you don’t mind spending the equivalent of a fortnight’s worth of food shopping on shipping costs, this is a fairly good way of pimping your Dreamcast.

But there is a third remedy. Enter DCJY reader Mike. He does shit like this to Dreamcasts:

Skies of Arcadia-cast

That right there isn’t one of those console stickers you just peel off and apply to your console - it’s a full on professionally applied vinyl coating. And you can have pretty much any design you want:

Jet Set/Grind Radio-cast

How is it done? I’ll let the man himself explain:

“Basically I work for a graphics and vehicle wrapping company, wrapping everything from race cars to motorbike helmets. I actually work in the finishing department. This involves cutting vinyl graphics, laminating prints, getting race car kits etc ready to fit, mounting custom graphics to Foamex and diabond panels etc.

For wrapping the Dreamcasts I first use an HD or similar quality image - this ensures that the picture doesn't look pixelated at all or blurry when upsized to fit the console. It's then down to the printing and artwork department to retouch the image (maybe change the colours slightly, resize it, upscale it etc). The picture can then be printed on cast vinyl in one of the HP Designjet L65500 printers (which are serious bits of kit), and it then comes to my department to be 'finished,' which in this case involves laminating it with some cast Arlon laminate, then trimming and applying to the Dreamcast. 

Placement is key to making the console look cool (you don't want to have an image of say Shenmue where Ryo's face is half off the console), and once you've got placement sorted apply the graphics and heat around all the different levels of the console. Trim carefully around the lid etc to ensure the join looks good. Then it's just a case of popping any air bubbles and trimming the edges and recesses nicely.”

I think you’ll agree that these custom Dreamcasts look pretty damned sweet, and as any image can be applied using the technique detailed in Mike’s explanation, you could have the world’s only Spirit Of Speed 1937 Dreamcast. Or not.

If you’d like to have your Dreamcast transformed - hell, go crazy and get a top-down view of a Sega Saturn or Neo Geo printed on it! - drop me an email via the link in my profile and I’ll supply contact details for Mike and his factory of wonders.


Unknown said...


There are SoA and JSR one listed on eBay UK. I'm assuming it's the same person, judging by the item description.

I shouldn't be spending money on unnecessary luxury items like this at the moment, but I don't know if I can help myself in this case. Interested to see what the final price will be in AUD.

It'd be awesome if this guy started taking custom orders for a reasonable price. Would be hard to choose an image though, since I've only got three consoles. Love the fact that the logo's left untouched.

Tomleecee said...

Thanks for the comment, Unknown. Yes, the consoles currently on eBay are indeed by the same guy. I guess he must take the logos off before applying the vinyls and then stick them back on afterwards. What would be even cooler is if the LED could be changed to match the design too...but I'm sure that's a simple enough DIY job!

Caleb said...



Caleb said...

(Before I cleaned it up)

Tomleecee said...

Cool fight stick Caleb!

The GagaMan(n) said...

Ahhh Caleb you didn't tell me you were gonna slap my art on an arcade stick! That is mad awesome! :D

These Dreamcast's look gorgeous. My main use one is covered in signatures though (as I believe I posted here back when I got it done) and has already been vehicle wrapped to protect them, so I'm sticking with that :)

Caleb said...

Sorry I didn't ask for permission Gagaman

It was on a whim during the rainy weekend.

Caleb said...

Also I found out that the HD PVR 2 can capture halfway decent Dreamcast footage without a HDMI Upscaler.

So hopefully I can get some Dreamcast reviews in.

The GagaMan(n) said...

Not a problem Caleb, just a nice surprise! Would love to see some nice photos of it fully cleaned up.